Brandi and I have had possession of our new house for nearly two full months now, and we've been actually living in it for pretty close to a month and a half. Most of that time has passed in a whirlwind of activity, but now things are starting to settle down and feel more routine.
I have to say first off that the house is pretty awesome. It's a complete 180° difference from the last place we lived in terms of peace and quiet. Most obvious is the fact that it's not a duplex and we're not physically attached to our neighbors' domiciles, and thus are not subject to their screaming babies, shouted conversations, or windchime fetishes. Also, we live on a side street of an isolated subdivision, so traffic is extremely sparse. Really, about the only things we hear from outside are crickets and the occasional barking dog.
My favorite feature of the house is the screened-in back patio. One of our first purchases for the place was a table and chairs set for back there, and it's a great place to sit in the evenings to have a drink and unwind. Since the summer has been so temperate thus far, I've even taken to eating lunch out there as often as not. Generally I'm not big on eating outside because I have a hatred of bugs that borders on mania, but the screens let me enjoy the benefits of being outside without being bothered.
Of course, there are some aspects of home ownership that I'm not quite so fond of. Near the top of the list is lawn maintenance. It's not so much that I mind mowing the lawn - to be perfectly honest, it's not something I've done enough to develop a distaste for yet. Mostly it's that I don't even think about it. When I have free time, pulling the mower out of the shed is the furthest thing from my mind. And we've got a ton of plants/flowers/trees/shrubs/bushes/etc. that really need to be brought under control. We have some friends who are going to help us with this, which is awesome, but in the meantime we've taken to calling our yard "the jungle." Of course, this has its fair points, too - yesterday Brandi went out and picked a large bowl of cherry tomatoes off the plants outside our back patio. They're pretty tasty, and it looks like there will be at least one more crop before the summer is over.
This week, of course, our developing routine will be turned on its ear. Brandi is leaving today for California, where she'll be for a week to attend a fitness conference. I'm taking a few days off from work as well, although I'm not actually going anywhere. It was just time for me to have some time away from work to relax. With Brandi gone, my week will likely consist mostly of PS3, loud rock music (headlined by Def Leppard and Journey), dawn coming at the end of the day rather than the beginning, plenty of time spent on the patio, and a fair amount of wine. So I may not be going anywhere, but that sounds like a solid enough vacation for me.